Credit for What You Know, also known as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), is a tool that the Community College of Philadelphia uses to help students gain course credit for any experiences, skills or knowledge gained through classes, independent learning or through employment and/or training, including:
- Workplace training
- Military training and service
- Independent study
- Professional certifications
- Examinations (national exams such as AP, IB, CLEP, DSST, Excelsior College, and UExcel exams;
- Civic activities
- Volunteer services
With the help of some assessment tools, the College can evaluate a student’s knowledge and skills they have gained outside the classroom in exchange for appropriate credits. Students gain the benefits of advancing through their program of choice in less time and for less money. In choosing to prove skills and knowledge gained in exchange for credit, students also gain the benefit of awareness of their skills in being able to develop professionally and personally as well as in grasping that learning outside of the classroom has value to colleges and other educational institutions.
We offer the following tools to help get you started to see if you qualify for a prior learning assessment:
Ways to Earn College Credit for Prior Learning
College-Level Exam Program
The College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) was created by the College Board to allow students to demonstrate college-level achievement through a series of exams in undergraduate content. All CLEP testing is computer-based and exams are available year-round.
Learn more about CLEP options.
Departmental Challenge Exam
There are many courses that you may challenge by taking a departmental challenge exam. Explore a complete listing of Community College of Philadelphia courses that may be challenged through Departmental Challenge Exams.
Learn more about Departmental Challenge Exams.
Career and Technical Education (CTE)
High school students can earn college credit towards their program of study at Community College of Philadelphia. Students must meet with their guidance counselor to review requirements for earning college credit. Visit CollegeTransfer.Net for a listing of approved courses. Completed Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) applications must be submitted by the Office of Career and Technical Education at the School District of Philadelphia to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing.
Evaluation of Noncredit or Alternative Learning
Professional training programs such as the police academy, noncredit courses, and other career and technical programs may be eligible for college credit. Students may also develop a portfolio for individual assessment of college-level learning for some courses. For consideration, please follow the steps below.
- If you are a first-time student or have not attended the College within the past two years, complete an admissions application. All other students proceed to step 2.
- Review the list of courses
- Visit College Credit Fast Track to upload your documentation (i.e., approved certification, credential, noncredit transcript or portfolio) for review.
*Note: All submissions will require a nonrefundable payment of $159 for evaluation. Payment does not guarantee course credit. It is strongly recommended that you seek guidance from the departmental contact prior to documentation upload.
Approved course credit will be applied to your academic record within 30 business days. For additional information, contact Bianca Cummings at email@example.com or 215-751.8916.